What is "Strategic Transformation?" For some, it is the framework and process of altering the way in which an organisation does business using new technologies and processes. For others, it is the effort to develop a measured, goal-orientated response to marketplace events, or to improve performance by becoming more customer-centricity. But the most stratgic reason is the design and execution of an integrated, future-oriented, enterprise-wide program aimed at moving to an improved future and achieve stretch goals.
In the multitude of voices and noises, strategic and organizational paradoxes, CEOs and their executive team need to learn to navigate, transition and lead their organizations into a new future. Companies that failed to transform their organizations because they put too much emphasis on tools and technology and not enough on foresights, mental mindsets and leadership behaviors. Their leaders failed to develop the shared visions, values and beliefs that serve as foundation for dynamic culture and to engage all employees to co-create the new culture and to provide opportunities for them to initiate and participate in a shared destiny.
They need to start by identifying the specific beliefs and practices that need to be changed, challenge them to create new “experiences” that form those new belief. Convincing someone to change is hard and trying to convince and mobilize a large organization to change is an almost impossible task. But it is still possible. You just need to know where to start and where to push and pull.
There are many reasons why transformation efforts failed, because they over emphasis on the business processes redesign and not enough attention on the underlying human behavior. Strategic transformation is not just about helping people to rethink and reflect on the past and the present; it is also a way to prepare people for future unknowns.
The heart of any transformation lies in finding and embedding the “purpose” of the business and what they individually must do to accomplish that purpose, how to build trust, create networks and innovate. In the course of Idea Couture six years journey of helping large companies to transform, we determined that to create a new level of performance or jump back into a growth mode, a few things matter most. Most transformation will include building a culture of purposeful innovation and high performance. They consist of the following core components: mental mindsets, purpose and meanings, innovation practices, co-creation and measureable results.
When mental mindsets are anchored on a perspective of the future and the executives, board of directors, managers and employees are all aligned, they generate managerial actions that, in turn, lead to superior business performance. An exciting future state and here executives can leverage this to create the cultural momentum that is critical to ongoing innovation success. This cultural capital can help companies to deal with the ambiguities of technological disruptions and external market uncertainties and to direct their energy to adapt to fast changing competitive conditions. Facing increasing complexity applying a single-dimensional focus is absolutely fatal. And any attempt to emulate a successful strategy of your largest competitor is also fatal.
Transformation leaders understand the importance of using “strategic foresights” to help their companies maintain relevancy to the future and it is an ongoing attempt rather than a one-off exercise. Transformation leaders also understand the need to invest a disproportionate amount of time in bringing the organization together and function as one, not as departments or business units that ended-up sub-optimizing the business performance.
Executives in lower-performing organizations complain that they don't have time for the "soft stuff" and needed all the attention for a real business strategy. Yes we need a strategy on where and how we compete and what part of the value chain we can leverage and how to leverage from the economics of scale and scope. Executives are sometimes confused about managing conflicting strategies and they think they have to make difficult trade-offs. It is 100% possible to manage two conflicting strategies without keeping them apart. But to do so first required to develop a strong culture of trust and the ability to accommodate a new management mindset. That's why trasnformation is needed.